Apologies for ghosting you. (Also, forgive me if the first post is more introspective than most. It seems that’s becoming a trend for the blog: each year’s first entry seems to be kinda medatative.) I didn’t mean to disappear, promise. Turns out, blogging takes a lot of time and effort – which is fine; I wouldn’t do this unless I enjoyed it. But it does mean that I have less time to spend on other pursuits, which may have their own payoff, whether that means financial incentives or emotional rewards.
Something I’ve learnt is that it’s important to get paid for what you do, even – especially – if it’s something you love. In interviews, people with successful careers are fond of saying that they love what they do so much they’d work for free. That’s a lovely sentiment, but it also obscures the truth – having a career means getting paid. Maybe they would have done it for free when they started out, but I bet they wouldn’t seriously consider it now. By the time you’ve built a career out of something, you’ve gained a lot of experience doing that thing. All that time spent doing the thing is an investment, which you hope will reward you in some way. (It’s also why I insist on paying my friends when they do things for me. Or at least offer to pay them in kind, by offering them services in return.)
I could go on a rant about capitalism, burnout, and how various entertainment-related industries relies on semi-pro or amateur people working for free. But I’ll save that for an angry post. 😛 For now, at least, I’d like to find ways to make the site pay its own hosting costs. Because earning some money, even if it’s not that much, makes it easier to justify the amount of time I spend on each post. Sustainability is crucial.
So, what exactly have I been doing? I have actually been pretty busy, even though my focus shifted significantly towards the end of last year so it might not seem so from the state of this blog. First off, for October/Halloween/my birthday, I attended a whole bunch of horror movies. I also panicked needlessly about the end of the decade, discovered my favourite Fallout game, and cooked part of a huge family Christmas lunch.
- started experimenting with Twitch
- played in two streamed RPG sessions
- edited short games and heists for the SJC
- contributed my first writing assignment to an RPG supplement, in the form of a Norse heist
- submitted outlines for two fantasy cities for an RPG colley
- started plotting world domination (just kidding)
- decided to invest in a therapist (not kidding)
As far as Twitch goes, I’ve spent most of my time gradually figuring out how much goes into being a good or at least decent streamer. Turns out, it’s a lot! I’m still struggling to wrap my head around what I want to get out of it. The biggest obstacle so far is time, energy, and timing. But it’s been fun and it’s something I’d like to continue, and hopefully it will become a way for me to hang out with some of the people who read the blog. (Speaking of which, you can find us at https://www.twitch.tv/zwodderZA.)
I also spent some time thinking about new goals for the year. That includes balancing out my schedule between blogging, streaming, writing, and generally being more active in the gaming community – especially locally. So I thought I’d share a few of my 2020 goals:
- Update the look, design, and structure of the blog
- Run more games at CLAWs (including but not exclusively at DragonFire)
- Play in more streamed RPGs on Twitch
- Run at least 3 online RPG sessions
- Edit more RPG things (SGD, SJC things, etc.)
- Write more RPG material for publication
- Create more fun downloads and handouts for my RPG work (maps, character sheets, monster writeups, suggestions for adapting them for different systems, etc.)
- Get an official Nerdverse shirt/hoodie made
Of course, introspection will only get you so far. I think it’s time I give you the option of giving me some feedback. I’ll be doing this kind of thing more often as the year goes on, but I thought this would be as good a time to start checking in as any. In any case, I look forward to seeing what the year ahead has in store.